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Getting hacked is a terrifying concept. In fact, a Gallup poll found that 62 percent of consumers are worried about their personal computer or smartphone getting compromised. In contrast, only 18 percent of the same group are concerned about being murdered.
The reason for this is simple: Becoming the victim of a hack is a very common occurrence in today’s world, much more so than murder. In fact, a 2014 joint study from CNN and the Ponemon Institute found that around 110 million Americans had been compromised in the previous year.
That said, just because your device has been compromised doesn’t mean you have to give up hope. To that end, let’s jump into what you should do in order to clean an infected PC.
Ensure that you have been compromised
First things first, you need to make sure that your computer has, in fact, been infected with malware. To do this, you’ll need to observe how your machine acts on a regular bases.
Do you receive an alarming amount of pop ups? Does your computer take forever to boot? Are there a bunch of unknown and disreputable programs running in the “Processes” tab of your Task Manager? Can you not even load the Task Manager or other tools?
If you answered yes to any of these, you’ve most likely been compromised. Sadly, an infected machine sometimes doesn’t even show signs, so if you have a feeling in your gut that something isn’t right, you may simply want to proceed.
“All unnecessary tools are shut down in Safe Mode.”
Get into Safe Mode
Safe Mode basically allows your computer to run with only the most essential programs needed. This means that all unnecessary tools are shut down, including most forms of malware. This can be done on Windows 8 and 10 by taking yourself to the login screen and holding “shift” while clicking the “Restart” selection.
Run a scan with a trusted program
Once you’ve done this, it’s time to scan your system. Doing so in Safe Mode is a great idea because it basically negates the possibility of a false sense of security. Certain forms of malware are designed to trick your computer into saying that it’s perfectly fine, thereby destroying the entire purpose of running a scan to begin with.
Selecting a solid scanning service is incredibly important here. Those looking to ensure the security of their computers should look into the wide variety of products sold by Total Defense.